The waiting is over and the last qualifying competition before the British Championships has come to an end. Some of you will have qualified, scraping in at the last minute following competition after competition chasing those elusive qualifying marks.  And now the work begins – to live up to the place you’ve just earned.  Others will be disappointed, devastated, demotivated.  Feeling the emotional equivalent of having been kicked in the stomach by a donkey. You were this close… but not quite close enough.

Consider this: there has to be a cut-off point. A measure. Simply for the logistical management of such a thing as the national championships. And I have no doubt that as the year has gone on, you have focused almost entirely one or two of these numbers… 11.5, 13, 15, 18, 27 and 30.

Whether you’re in or out – how many of you stopped for a moment and focused on your ultimate goals? Realising that the national championships are but a stepping stone to the BIG goal on your horizon.  How many of you thought “How will I achieve this? What do I need to do differently, to get a higher result? What goals can I set and work towards which will help me to break that ‘barrier’? And how many of you regularly exercised your mind – learned to focus and visualise and did so every day, every practice?

Getting the required number of points is simply a measure. It says you can skate at a certain level and so you are entitled to enter this competition. It doesn’t make you a great skater. It doesn’t make you an Olympian, but it’s a step along your path to your ultimate goal.

Now is the right time to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and plan. Plan for your next year of skating so that when it comes to the British Championships next year, you’ll surpass the requirements and get yourself a nice comfortable place. If you’ve been struggling to get those marks – take a step back and think about what it means. It means you’re not quite ready yet. There’s still a little work to do – be it on your technique, your consistency, your stamina (ooof that last 30 seconds of the Free is a killer!), or perhaps all these are fine in practice, but your MINDSET is what is preventing you from reaching that goal.

Start right now!  There’s no time like the present.  Get your foundations in place and find out what it means to think like a champion.  How to the Olympians and Show Skaters do it? What is the difference between their approach and yours? And what are the similarities too?  Your mind is 100% in charge of what your body does – so make sure it gets exercised regularly and doesn’t get overrun with gremlins…